Each Saturday afternoon two
different groups of people get together at
Trinity Church in answer to a call from God.
One group are Servers, the other Cooks.
Their mission is to provide a hot,
nutritious meal for those in need.
The cooking team arrives first to prepare
a multi-course meal. The meals are
typically a pasta or rice dish, meat, and
vegetables, with nutritious beverages,
sometimes followed by desert (which may be
baked by one of the servers) and coffee.
The doors are open and the servers set up
the tables and chairs for the many visitors
who will show up. They spread each
table with a tablecloth and set out the
The visitors arrive and are seated.
At the serving counter the server tells one
of the cooking team how many new visitors
there are, and the cook prepares a fresh
dish for each. After they serve the
new guests the servers look for those who
are finishing and ask them if they'd like
Often people will enter the kitchen form
the parking lot entrance with fresh fruit
and vegetables from their garden; baked
goods that they'd made or gotten from a
local store; salads and sandwiches left-over
from a party. These are quickly
incorporated into the dinner or added to the
take home meals that are also offered.
The guests don't leave right away, they
sit around the tables talking to each other.
They know that once them meal is over, the
take-out orders will start to be filled.
At that point the orders come in at the
serving counter all over again; "3 take-outs, is there any chicken left? Give
me one with just chicken and some of the left
over peaches." Or, "Give me one with
just chili, no vegetables."
When all the guests have left, the
serving team clears the tables and breaks
down the tables and chairs, clearing the
room for the next activity at Trinity Church
hall. The kitchen is a beehive of
action: washing dishes, collecting garbage,
scrubbing counters and the floor.
And then it's over till next Saturday
Everyone is welcome at Trinity Episcopal
The guests are
served by people from all walks and stages
of life. Parents and children,
retirees, police men and women, teachers,
firefighters, business people, office
workers and store clerks, IT professionals,
lawyers, doctors, nurses. They are of
many denomination, attendees of many
different churches in six neighboring towns.
The food served comes from varied sources
too. The pantry at Holy Name of Mary
in Croton-on-Hudson receives grants to
purchase food, materials and the utensils
and tools needed to prepare the meals.
Maryknoll sends down fresh food from their
gardens in the summer. Food Patch and
a number of other organizations help to fill
the pantry with donations of food.
It is a wonderful ministry, made more
remarkable by the gratitude and even a
willingness to help by the guest themselves.